Preparing for the Worst: Business Continuity Planning

Written by: Lorrie Howard, Horizon Point Consulting

Hurricane Florence had residents and businesses along the East Coast scrambling to prepare for what could have been a catastrophic event. Even though the storm was downgraded, it still had a major impact on some areas hit.

My mother, who lives in Northern Virginia, found it hilarious when I called her and made her go down the storm preparation checklist:

  • Non-perishable food? Check.
  • Flashlights and batteries? Check.
  • Candles and matches? Check.
  • Bottled water? Check.

Of course she had each item, but I had to make sure just for my own peace of mind.

Disasters, whether natural or man-made, can have a lasting impact on organizations if they are not prepared. My husband spent about two years working in disaster recovery for Customs and Border Patrol. Twice a year he and his team had to travel to an undisclosed location and complete a test run of their disaster recovery plan, setting up all of the CBP systems at the secondary site and ensuring those systems were fully functional.

Has your organization considered what the response would be in the event of a disaster? Have you considered what you need to do to ensure that there is minimal impact to your organization, your employees, and your customers? What resources will you need to keep your company up and running during the recovery period?

A great way to ensure that your organization is prepared is to create a Business Continuity Plan. A Business Continuity Plan allows your organization to continue operating during a disaster and helps to minimize the impact. Planning ahead allows you to:

  • Assess your organization and determine what functions are essential to your operation.
  • Determine what resources are needed to maintain those essential functions, or to get those services back up and running as quickly as possible.
  • Designate employees or departments responsible for acquiring certain resources in preparation of a disaster or restoring certain services in the aftermath.
  • Practice for the real thing.

Is your organization prepared if a disaster strikes?

For more information on Business Continuity Planning, click here.


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